NAS Creation (Distribution, Raid, SSD Cache)



Hi all,

I'm about to set up a NAS (it will be mostly used for storing movies, pictures & music and maybe some random documents).
As I'm not that experienced with Linux, could you advise which distribution I should use?

planned hardware so far:
- Intel Core i5-4570TE Processor
(first I thought about Intel Xeon Processor E3-1220L v2, but I could not find any 1155 sockel MB with 6x SATA III interfaces / just 3x SATA III)
- 3x WD30EFRX (I will start with 3x 3TB WD Red disks, maybe a 4th for immediate hot swapping)
RAM - not sure yet, something like:
Crucial DIMM 4GB, DDR3L-1600, CL9, ECC

I would set it up in Raid 5 and also thought about using a smaller SSD as cache (i.e. Kingston SSDNow mS200 30GB)
Is it possible to do so (using Raid 5 and SSD cache) and how much SSD space do I need to make the cache useful?

So, to summarize, I would have following questions:
- Which distribution should I use?
- Is Raid 5 and SSD cache on the same system possible?
- How much SSD space would be needed to make the cache useful?
- Is the hot swapping function available with a linux raid (5) systems?
- Maybe you could also have a short look at my chosen components so far - maybe you got some better ideas ;-)

I really spent quite an amount of time on the internet looking up different stuff, but I could not find the answeres to these specific questions to be 100% sure...

looking forward to your answers,




I am going to recommend something different. FreeNAS. It runs FreeBSD not Linux but is great at its job. Very easy to use.

It has a very easy to use web interface that should help.


For those that needs a Torrent, Printer, Scanner, media, or file servers may try Ubuntu Server + MC (Midnight Commander for easiness) + OpenSSH and remotely access it trough SSH tunnel for setting up.

Regarding Raid 5 and SSD questions I would not know the answers but I guess no big problems for that, please check "askubuntu" site.

Install CUPS (printing), SANE (Scanner), SAMBA (file server), MINIDlna (media server)

Works pretty well, including subttitles for movies and are relativelly easy to setup.

Have fun!
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Thanks for your answers!
I already had a look a FreeNAS and it really sounds pretty good - just as Ubuntu.
Somehow I am/was more into Linux - still not sure which one I will pick ;-)

Do you know if there is any difference (adv-/disadvantages) between the Raid Software/System of Linux (Ubuntu) and FreeNAS?

I will also have a look at "askubuntu" ;-)

cheers guys!

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